The 2004/05 season is a campaign which perhaps irreversibly changed English football, the arrival of ‘The Special One’ at Chelsea the catalyst for an era of unprecedented success at Stamford Bridge.
Jose Mourinho’s arrival in west London saw Chelsea crowned as champions for the first time in half a century, the Blues sealing the title with the help of the best defensive record in Premier League history.
Elsewhere there was managerial change at Liverpool who enjoyed shock success in the Champions League, whilst West Bromwich Albion became the first side in history to survive relegation despite being bottom of the table at Christmas.
We’re continuing our look back at the greatest goalscorers from each Premier League season, here are the leading scorers from the 2004/05 campaign:
Yakubu – Portsmouth (13 goals)
The highest-scoring Portsmouth player in Premier League history, Yakubu enjoyed a fine goalscoring record on the South Coast and the 2004/05 campaign was his second in the top flight for the club.
Having finished amongst the league’s leading scorers the previous season, Yakubu’s influence was once again vital to Pompey maintaining their top-flight status, the Nigerian hitting 13 league goals as the club finished just two places and six points outside the drop zone.
Yakubu scored a hat-trick against Fulham in a thrilling 4-3 victory at Fratton Park in August, whilst he also scored crucial goals in notable victories over the likes of Tottenham, Manchester United and Southampton.
He finished the season with 17 goals in all competitions before leaving to join Middlesbrough in a £7.5m club-record deal, becoming the most expensive Nigerian player in history.
Frank Lampard – Chelsea (13 goals)
Arguably the finest player of the Premier League season, Frank Lampard was amongst Chelsea’s key figures as the club ended a 50-year wait for a top-flight league title in style.
The England international finished as the leading assist provider in the division and scored 13 league goals, including a match-winning double as the west London side secured the championship with victory at Bolton in late April.
Lampard finished the season with 19 goals in all competitions as Chelsea also reached the last four of the Champions League, the midfielder’s performances recognised with the FWA Footballer of the Year and Premier League Player of the Season awards.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink – Middlesbrough (13 goals)
One of the players squeezed out at Chelsea following the club’s significant investment, Hasselbaink headed to Middlesbrough in the summer of 2004 after scoring 87 goals in 177 appearances over a four-year spell at Stamford Bridge.
Hasselbaink settled quickly in the north East and formed a promising partnership with fellow summer signing Mark Viduka, scoring a dramatic late equaliser on his debut against Newcastle at the Riverside.
The Dutchman finished his debut season having scored 13 league goals, including a hat-trick against Blackburn and two goals in a pulsating 4-4 draw with Norwich, Middlesbrough finishing the season in seventh and securing UEFA Cup qualification for a second successive season.
Jermain Defoe – Tottenham (13 goals)
Tottenham entered the 2004/05 campaign under the guidance of Jaques Santini, enjoying a promising start before a run of successive defeats saw the Frenchman sacked and replaced by assistant Martin Jol.
The north London side improved under the guidance of Jol and their upturn in form was led by the goalscoring talent of Jermain Defoe, the youngster finishing as Spurs’ leading scorer during his first full season at the club.
Defoe scored on the opening day against Liverpool and registered his first Premier League hat-trick against Southampton in December, finishing with 13 league goals for the campaign despite competition for places from Robbie Keane, Frederic Kanoute and mid-season signing Mido.
The England international was also similarly prolific as Spurs reached the latter stages of both domestic cups, netting a further nine goals to finish the season with 22 goals in all competitions.
Robert Pires – Arsenal (14 goals)
Arsenal entered the new season as champions having completed a historic undefeated campaign, with Arsene Wenger’s ‘Invincibles’ maintaining their momentum to take an early lead in the title race.
The Gunners won eight of their first nine fixtures with France international Pires once again starring on the left-flank, hitting goals in wins over Everton, Middlesbrough, Norwich and Aston Villa, before scoring the winner in a breathless 5-4 derby victory over Tottenham.
The north London side’s record 49-game unbeaten run ended in dramatic fashion at Manchester United and their pursuit of back-to-back titles ultimately fell short, despite the presence of two players amongst the Premier League’s leading scorers.
Only two players scored more goals than Pires, who hit 14 league goals for the third successive season.
Robert Pires was a cheeky little fecker wasn’t he! 😎 pic.twitter.com/36hnMTYReN
— Football Faithful (@FootyFaithful_) May 31, 2020
Andy Johnson – Crystal Palace (21 goals)
Crystal Palace’s return to the Premier League lasted just a single season as they suffered an immediate relegation back to the second tier, despite the prolific goalscoring form of Andy Johnson.
Johnson had played a crucial role in the club’s promotion campaign and adapted seamlessly to life at Premier League level, scoring 21 league goals to finish as the runner-up for the Golden Boot.
Palace’s hugely forgettable summer transfer window contributed to an ultimately doomed over-reliance on the diminutive star, who despite developing a healthy knack of both winning and converting penalties couldn’t keep the Eagles up.
The forward finished the season having scored more than half of Palace’s total league goals, his 21-goal haul the highest any Premier League player has ever managed for a relegated side.
Thierry Henry – Arsenal (25 goals)
The mid-2000’s simply belonged to Arsenal’s Thierry Henry, the forward winning the Premier League’s Golden Boot for a joint-record third time after another fine season for the north London side.
Henry began the campaign having won back-to-back PFA Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year doubles, before once again cementing his status as the finest forward in English football.
The Gunners great scored 25 league goals to finish as the division’s leading marksman, joining Alan Shearer as the only stars to win three Golden Boots and as the only players to score 20+ goals in four successive seasons – a feat since matched by only Harry Kane and Sergio Aguero.
Despite finishing as runners-up in the league the season ended with silverware in the form of the FA Cup, whilst Henry was also included in the PFA Team of the Year for the fifth consecutive campaign.